Gauteng South Africa

Johannesburg is the heartbeat of the nation, Johannesburg and its surrounds exude an energy that is difficult to capture in words. Perhaps it is the relatively fast pace of its business sector along with the depth of its past? Or maybe it's the cosmopolitan smelting of cultures from around the globe? Whatever the magic, the hot spot of the nations past, present and future is tied up in Gauteng.



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Gauteng South Africa

'Johannesburg, Pretoria, Soweto and their surrounds contain historic, cultural and social gems'


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Johannesburg - Egoli
For many it is accepted as the heartbeat of the nation, Johannesburg and its surrounds exude an energy that is difficult to capture in words. Perhaps it is the relatively fast pace of its business sector along with the depth of its past? Or maybe it's the cosmopolitan smelting of cultures from around the globe? Whatever the magic, the hot spot of the nations past, present and future is tied up in Gauteng.
Johannesburg, Egoli - 'place of Gold' - a name given to an area famed for its richness in the precious mineral gold, but the wealth of Jo'burg goes much deeper than its gold. It may have ben what drew thousands to its land long ago, but today Egoli is rich in a hundred different ways.
A city of astonishing contrast, Jo'burg - or Jozi as it is fondly called by some - is a hub of art, culture and history.
From its early days 120 years ago as a gold rush shanty town, Johannesburg has shot up and earned a reputation for vibrancy and life. It is the third largest city on the continent, surpassed in size by Cairo (Egypt) and Lagos (Nigeria). The cosmopolitan spread has a blossoming art scene with numerous galleries and dealers trading in art to satisfy all tastes - from contemporary art to more grassroot 'township art' as well as more traditional landscapes and wildlife paintings.

Newton - museums and culture
Billions of rands have been pumped into Newton in the inner city to make it a first class, safe, cultural area and tourist attraction, it appears to have been worth every cent. This area in the heart of Jo'burg is attracting travellers and locals alike and is beating to the rhythm of a different drum. What used to be the home of industry with the city's first power station is now the heart of the city's arts community and hosts the Market Theatre, Museum Africa, the Electric Workshop and several other cultural hot spots. Museum Africa situated where the city's fruit and vegetable market used to be is the country's major cultural history museum and bares the heart and soul of the inner city. The displays capture fossil evidence of stone and iron-age communities in the Jo'burg area as well as the first white settlers. The museum holds the key to much of South Africa's history as well as its current community and lifestyle.
Another museum in the Newton area is the South African Breweries World of Beer. SABMiller is one of the largest brewing groups in the world and here one can track the history of brewing and sample some of the delicious and renowned brew!

An established part of Jo'burg's business and tourism draw-card are Flea-markets. The numerous and varied flourishing markets feature all things African ranging from masks and carving to jewelry, wire crafts, clothing, paintings from around Africa and a myriad of African and other wares.
Here are a few of the main Flea markets:
The African Flea market -Rosebank Mall
Bruma Lake Flea market - Bruma
Crafters market - Fourways Crossing
East Rand Flea market - Boksburg
Market Theatre flea market - Newton Cultural precinct

Sandton and Nelson Mandela Square - Shopping
From shopping flea-market style to the luxurious upmarket hub of Joburgs retail elite - Sandton City, in the heart of Jo'burgs northern suburbs claims to be the ultimate shopping experience. With 290 stores under its umbrella there is something for everybody. Local designer clothing such as Jenni Button and Hilton Weiner, as well as international labels such as Gucci, Diesel and DKNY, characterise this mall. Sandton City is also linked to Nelson Mandela Square which is also a shoppers paradise. Cultural curios, art and African couture are at your fingertips and there are dining opportunities for every palate.

If it is the real heartbeat of Africa you are seeking , a visit to Soweto is highly recommended, a multi-cultural, historic, vibrant part of Jozi. Soweto is more than worth a visit. SOuth WEstern TOwnship - or Soweto was the centre for political liberation activity for decades before freedom came in 1994. Today it is a sprawling connection of suburbs and exudes an unforgettable part of South African culture and lifestyle, music, dancing, dining and clubs.
Struggling icon and first democratically elected president of South Africa Nelson Mandela lived in the sprawling township with his wife and family. His home is now the Nelson Mandela Museum, in the same street as Archbishop Desmund Tutu's original home in Vilakazi street. It's the only street in the world that was home to two Nobel Peace Prize winners ! Both famous for their commitment to the liberation of all South Africans, these two men and their families make up a solid part of South African History.
Another part of the 'struggle tour' in Soweto is the famed Hector Peterson Museum - the child after whom this museum was named became the face of the fight against apartheid when he was killed along with many others on 16th June 1976. The photograph of Hectors limp body being carried by another student after the police shot into a crowd of protesting school children became a famed anti-apartheid weapon.
The Apartheid Museum's multi-media walk through the history of apartheid allows you to step back to these days into South Africa's dark past. Opened in 2001, this museum is one of the most meaningful experiences in the Egoli area.

Designed by Sir Herbert Baker and completed in 1913 the Union Buildings and gardens overlook Pretoria. It was in these spectacular gardens that Nelson Mandela was inaugurated in 1994. The grounds are also home to the Delville Woods War memorial - a tribute to all the South Africans that gave their lives in the fighting of World War 1, statues of various South African Prime ministers and a police memorial.
Another icon of the past is the Voortrekker Monument, built as a national shrine to commemorate the heroes of the great trek of the 19th Century. The dome also offers a spectacular view of the city.
The Pretoria Zoo should also be on your 'to do' list in Pretoria. As the largest zoo in South Africa the Pretoria Zoo has among many areas an aquarium and reptile park, the cable car trip over the sprawling lawns full of picnickers shows fantastic views of the city.

The Cradle of Mankind
Just 50km west of the metropolis of Johannesburg is one of South Africa's World Heritage Sites - The Cradle of Humankind. It is here that 40% of all human ancestor fossils have been unearthed. The best known of these sites Sterkfontein, is where over 500 hominid fossils and 9,000 tools have been found to date. A visit to the caves and excavation sites is guaranteed to be fascinating and unique.

For many Johannesburg and its surrounds is accepted as the heartbeat of the nation.

Some Attractions
Egoli city of Gold
Aparthied Museum
International airport


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